The Tech Track
discusses a broad array of topics related to the general application
of Java to science and engineering. The Physics
Track offers an example of using Java in a specific field.
In particular, we use Java to create a short course
on the basic software tools needed for a modern physics experiment
and how Java could provide these tools.
The chapters roughly divide into three parts:
- Numerical analysis - chapters 2-5 give examples of several
numerical methods using Java such as solving first order differential
equations, root finding, etc.
- Simulations - Chapters 6-10 concentrates on using Java
for simulating both physical phenomena and the experimental apparatus
for studying them.
- Analysis - Chapters 11-12 look at the techniques for
analyzing experimental data with simulations.
The physics student following this course should first know the
material discussed in the Java and Tech sections for each chapter
before reading the physics section.
Note: We will discuss a number
of numerical algorithms and use them in examples, but we do not
try in any systematic way to teach numerical analysis, or computational
physics as its now called when applied to physics problems.
See the references
for books such as that of Pang
or Gould &
Tobochnik for much more extensive material on numerical programming.
This first chapter gives
Latest update: Dec.10.2003